WE’RE fast approaching the final day of the jump season this Saturday.
The championship for jump trainers is tight and it’ll most definitely come down to the Bet365 meeting at Sandown, where there’s a lot of prize money on offer.
This season, Willie Mullins has been unbelievable. The British Championship for trainers is won by the amount of prize money accumulated over a 12-month period, not by the volume of winners you have.
For Mullins, Cheltenham was a huge boost with his prize money hitting the roof. Going into last Saturday’s penultimate race of the season he was around £40,000 ahead of Paul Nicholls, but by the end of the day Nicholls had pulled ahead again.
Who knows what the outcome will be this weekend, but one thing’s certain – it’ll be an exciting one to watch.
It’s also an exciting weekend ahead because Richard Johnson finally gets to put on the crown as Champion Jockey after all the years finishing second to AP McCoy.
Richard’s a very good friend of mine, and in the 15 years that I’ve known him he’s remained the same person; a gentleman.
As a Welsh farmer’s son he’s worked his way up on the point-to-point, so there’ll no doubt be a big cheer for him on Sunday to celebrate what he’s achieved. I think he’ll find it very emotional, we all will, he deserves the crown.
It’s fitting that he gets his reward after all these years, he was just unlucky that he was competing while AP McCoy was around. I do hope that Richard will stay on for another year and claim a back-to-back victory.
On the flipside, things weren’t running too smoothly for a jockey in France last week, when a horse ran off track during a race and into the crowd at Nantes racecourse.
It’s clear that the jockey was trying to correct the horse – it was very unusual for the horse to do what it did. It does happen, but normally it would happen at the start of the race or midway through or even going into an obstacle.
Here, the horse was heading towards the finish line. You would think that the easiest thing would be to go straight. But the horse went right, towards the crowd.
Sometimes when the animals are hurt, for example the horse can bleed inside, and sometimes you don’t even know what happens to a horse until the next morning. Stuff like this occurs if something isn’t right with the horse because it takes a lot for one to do that. It’s not malicious.
I’ve had a horse run out before going into the second last, but that’s because he wanted a way out, he wasn’t hurting.
The only people who can identify whether an animal is hurting are those who are with the horse 24/7.
I’ve seen horses hit the front and look like they’re going to win the race and then pull back from 35mph to about 0mph in no time, which is hard for a horse to do, just to stop.
There’s often a reason behind it, even if we, as jockeys, can’t see it.
Watch the video below
— boubanino (@boubanino1) 12 April 2016